On a dreary Manchester day, United edged their London rivals with a late Anthony Martial goal in a tactical encounter. Both sides looked nervous for large parts of the game, though United’s second-half performance was enough to warrant the three points. Here are our player ratings:
David De Gea: 6.5
Without the in-form Harry Kane, Spurs did little to test the Spaniard. He had a shaky moment in the first half, colliding with Phil Jones and spilling the ball in his own box. Apart from that momentary blip he was composed throughout the game and excellent distribution, his long searching ball to Lukaku set up United’s goal.
Eric Bailly: 7
Rusty in moments on his return to the United backline after injury. His passing was somewhat questionable at times, but it was important to get his defensive qualities back in the side. He was solid and rarely got beaten one on one.
Chris Smalling: 7
Smalling occupied the middle of United’s back three, commanding the defense with assurance. On the ball, he was fairly tame, not being able to start much coming out from the back. Nevertheless, after a shaky defensive performance last week, a return to an unyielding defense helped United gain all three points.
Phil Jones: 6.5
Jones returned to the side after worries of an extended spell on the sidelines were quashed by Mourinho. He took time to look comfortable in this game, with his first-half performance questionable at times. His second-half was much more confident and assured.
Antonio Valencia: 6.5
A solid performance from the captain today. Playing in an advanced position, it gave him the license to go forward more, which almost paid off; his stinging 20-yard shot just missed the top corner.
Ander Herrera: 6.5
Herrera’s criticism in the past few games have been linked to his offensive ineffectuality. It appears Mourinho has a different role for the Spaniard in comparison to what we saw last year. He was United’s bulldog in the midfield, putting in a gritty but effective performance against a decent side.
Nemanja Matić: 7.5
A typical, solid Matić performance. He broke up play well and limited Spurs’ attacking threat in front of the back three. Tried to link United’s attack and showed good vision with his passing.
Ashley Young: 8 (Man of the Match)
This veteran is having a stellar season so far. His work-rate and determination kick-started United at times today, with Young leading by example. His defensive mentality was unquestionable and he looked to get forward to provide a threat. Great performance from Young who showed just how much he cares for this club.
Henrik Mkhitaryan: 5.5
A woeful first-half performance where he could not settle into the game. Lacked creativity until the second half, when he unleashed a shot that forced Lloris into a save. Substituted with 25 minutes left to play.
Marcus Rashford: 6
Starting alongside Lukaku for the first time this season, Rashford gave United an element of speed and desire to challenge Spurs’ back three. However, his composure in front of goal was lacking.
Romelu Lukaku: 6.5
It took Lukaku almost 80 minutes to come to life in this game. He was missing for large parts in a game where you expect him to assert his authority. His player rating was salvaged by a brilliant headed assist for Martial’s goal and a thunderous header that hit the post.
Jesse Lingard (Sub, 65’): 6.5
Missed an unbelievable break-away chance to give United a 2-0 lead, but was lively when he came on.
Anthony Martial (Sub, 70’): 7.5
Scored the game winner with a composed finish. Brought another level of attack to United’s side.
Matteo Darmian (Sub, 90’): N/A
Came on for Young in stoppage time.
José Mourinho: 7
Altered the formation to a new-look back three, this allowed Young and Valencia to get forward more. United were rarely troubled defensively. His changes in the second half provided a new tempo to the attack.